Andrew Jackson was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837.
Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson gained fame as a general in the United States Army and served in both houses of the U.S. Congress.
As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the “common man” against a “corrupt aristocracy” and to preserve the Union.
- Full name: Andrew Jackson
- Profession: American soldier and politician
- 7th U.S. President
- Born: 15 March 1767, Waxhaws
- Died: 8 June 1845, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee, United States
- Presidential term: 4 March 1829 – 4 March 1837
- Nicknames: King Mob, The Hero of New Orleans, Old Hickory
- Children: Lyncoya Jackson, Andrew Jackson Donelson, MORE
- Vice presidents: John C. Calhoun (1829–1832), Martin Van Buren (1833–1837)
About Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was born on 15 March 1767, in the Waxhaws region of the Carolinas, United States.
His parents were Scots-Irish colonists Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, Presbyterians who had emigrated from present day Northern Ireland two years earlier.
Jackson’s father was born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in current-day Northern Ireland, around 1738.
Jackson’s parents lived in the village of Boneybefore, also in County Antrim. His paternal family line originated in Killingswold Grove, Yorkshire, England.
When they immigrated to North America in 1765, Jackson’s parents probably landed in Philadelphia. Most likely they travelled overland through the Appalachian Mountains to the Scots-Irish community in the Waxhaws, straddling the border between North and South Carolina.
They brought two children from Ireland, Hugh (born 1763) and Robert (born 1764). Jackson’s father died in a logging accident while clearing land in February 1767 at the age of 29, three weeks before his son Andrew was born.
Jackson, his mother, and his brothers lived with Jackson’s aunt and uncle in the Waxhaws region, and Jackson received schooling from two nearby priests.
Jackson’s exact birthplace is unclear because of a lack of knowledge of his mother’s actions immediately following her husband’s funeral.
The area was so remote that the border between North and South Carolina had not been officially surveyed.
In 1824, Jackson wrote a letter saying he had been born on the plantation of his uncle James Crawford in Lancaster County, South Carolina.
Jackson may have claimed to be a South Carolinian because the state was considering nullification of the Tariff of 1824, which he opposed.
In the mid-1850s, second-hand evidence indicated that he might have been born at a different uncle’s home in North Carolina.
As a young boy, Jackson was easily offended and was considered something of a bully. He was, however, said to have taken a group of younger and weaker boys under his wing and been very kind to them.
He served briefly in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, representing Tennessee.
After resigning, he served as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1798 until 1804. Jackson purchased a property later known as The Hermitage, and became a wealthy, slaveowning planter.
In 1801, he was appointed colonel of the Tennessee militia and was elected its commander the following year.
He led troops during the Creek War of 1813–1814, winning the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The subsequent Treaty of Fort Jackson required the Creek surrender of vast lands in present-day Alabama and Georgia.
In the concurrent war against the British, Jackson’s victory in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans made him a national hero. Jackson then led U.S. forces in the First Seminole War, which led to the annexation of Florida from Spain.
Jackson briefly served as Florida’s first territorial governor before returning to the Senate. He ran for president in 1824, winning a plurality of the popular and electoral vote.
As no candidate won an electoral majority, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams in a contingent election.
In reaction to the alleged “corrupt bargain” between Adams and Henry Clay and the ambitious agenda of President Adams, Jackson’s supporters founded the Democratic Party.
Jackson ran again in 1828, defeating Adams in a landslide. Jackson faced the threat of secession by South Carolina over what opponents called the “Tariff of Abominations.” The crisis was defused when the tariff was amended, and Jackson threatened the use of military force if South Carolina attempted to secede.
In Congress, Henry Clay led the effort to reauthorize the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson, regarding the Bank as a corrupt institution, vetoed the renewal of its charter.
After a lengthy struggle, Jackson and his allies thoroughly dismantled the Bank. In 1835, Jackson became the only president to completely pay off the national debt, fulfilling a longtime goal.
His presidency marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the party “spoils system” in American politics.
In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which forcibly relocated most members of the Native American tribes in the South to Indian Territory.
The relocation process dispossessed the Indians and resulted in widespread death and disease. Jackson opposed the abolitionist movement, which grew stronger in his second term.
In foreign affairs, Jackson’s administration concluded a “most favored nation” treaty with Great Britain, settled claims of damages against France from the Napoleonic Wars, and recognized the Republic of Texas. In January 1835, he survived the first assassination attempt on a sitting president.
In his retirement, Jackson remained active in Democratic Party politics, supporting the presidencies of Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk.
Though fearful of its effects on the slavery debate, Jackson advocated the annexation of Texas, which was accomplished shortly before his death.
Jackson has been widely revered in the United States as an advocate for democracy and the common man.
Many of his actions proved divisive, garnering both fervent support and strong opposition from many in the country.
His reputation has suffered since the 1970s, largely due to his role in Native American removal. Surveys of historians and scholars have ranked Jackson favourably among U.S. presidents.